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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

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Topics - LoletaEric

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Hookups and Fishing Reports (Viewable by Public) / HBO - 7/3/19
« on: July 06, 2019, 11:31:17 AM »
Morning at HBO - that's Humboldt Bay Offshore, and it's my home waters.

I grew up riding the swells through the jaws of Humboldt Bay and out onto the open ocean with my dad in his little aluminum dories. I remember thinking we could die out there, but I trusted the captain. My old man had the ocean down pat - mosquito fleet at Shelter Cove in the 70's, commercial salmon dory in the summertime off of Humboldt Bay too, and later when I was college age he got his six-pack license and did salmon charters here from a 19' Gregor. As a kid I'd be doped up on Dramamine and half asleep when he'd wake me up to have me fight a fish - I still get sick as hell on powerboats. Not on my kayaks though.

I've been kayak fishing on the ocean for over 20 years, and getting out of Humboldt Bay is always one of my favorite trips. I'm taken back to those times as a kid when my dad was looking to get me on an adventure of fishing and the excitement and responsibility of being on the open ocean. He's been gone for almost 12 years now, but he came to know long before his passing that what he was showing me had definitely stuck and made a major impact on my life.

Today a few friends and I enjoyed a special bite out near the whistle buoy. The coho were chewing choves madly at 30 pulls, and a few kings were brought to the boat as well. One of my good friends David got his first taste of the challenge that is HBO on a yak, and my other good friend David got a killer payoff that only results from the diligence that this sport requires. I got a little something too, and, as always when I'm on the water chasing these chrome phantoms that have come to mean so much to my entire life, I got a good visit with Dad in too.   :smt001

2nd guide day in a row on Humboldt Bay.  It went well for Mike and I.  He's all tooled up with the right gear, a great attitude, lots of fishing experience, and a willingness and eagerness to learn new ways to do it from the kayaks.  We worked for better than 5 hours around a midday high tide.  Got in to two early ones including a stout 35 incher, and then bites were scarce.  Didn't see any other fish caught - 2nd day in a row.  It's all about keeping the focus, and Mike's well on his way to finding success on his own.  Helping other sportsmen develop knowledge and confidence presenting bait for salmon and halibut is proving to be one of my best offerings, and I hope to add you to my list of men met on the internet if you're looking for that kind of love!   :smt003

With the ocean salmon not happening quite yet from the yaks I turned to bay halibut for an opportunity. Managed to book a few dates, and today was my first bay guided trip of the year. It can be a tough fishery with lots of hours spent waiting and re-baiting, as you're often dealing with bait munchers like sculpin, crab and bat rays. There are ways to avoid those unwanted biters, but the waiting is a universal.

Ben and Ian came from L.A. and the Bay Area, respectively, and they were looking for an adventure. Neither does much fishing or ever has, but they're camping out for a few days down in the redwoods and wanted to fish. These guys have known each other since middle school and were on a guys' trip away from the wives and kids. They were in good shape, had great attitudes, and both did well to follow my instructions on how to run their gear. We were right around the 2nd bridge at high tide - along with about a dozen other guys either on yaks or powerboats. No one was getting a touch. We gave that another hour, everyone else cleared out, and we took a break on a nice beach of shells and mud crabs on Indian Island right as the sun came out.

As we worked our way back down the channel with the tide I had to have the guys paddle against an unforecasted west wind, and our gear was getting pulled by the tide, so it was like walking the dog! Our gear was out in front of us as we paddled down-bay. Love it. About 3 hours in we got on the west side of the middle bridge and I got a bite. It stuck, and soon we had a 25" hali under some burlap. The guys went from chilling on a fun paddle with a fishing potential to being more focused on catching a fish of their own. Ian had been getting down on it all day - lots of crab bites, a couple minor snags. Ben was more conservative and kept it off the bottom, but I was confident that we were all right in the zone - that's what the waiting is about. You never really know who will get the bite, and the best policy is to focus on having maximum exposure.

About 30 minutes after our first bite and fish, Ian thought he snagged the bottom again, but I saw his rod tip go down so fast and we weren't drifting that quickly. Then it pumped. Oh yes! I cleared my line and got up on him quickly - coaching him on the rod tip, the drag, letting the fish have a little room to move... He did fantastic - went from buried under the yak to moving the rod tip around the bow to let the fish run. He had it back up by us for a good look and another run, and then it was ready for the net. I absolutely love netting fish for my guests - it may be my favorite part of guiding. I'm OK with that, as long as the process plays out properly. It's about fulfilling my guests' adventure, and retaining a fish is a huge boon.

It came together for us, and Ian's fish - a beautiful 30 incher - had the guys really stoked to have gone on the trip. I know that I am the lucky one to be in a position to facilitate and to help people build their confidence and their skillset. I will continue to work hard to fulfill the goals of this pursuit, and I thank you for sharing it with me. That's really what life is all about, and the outdoors pursuits help to manifest that.   :smt001

I finished my chores, got the family set up with dinner and bee-bopped my way down to the bay last night for a high tide session.  It was hotter than F&$# yesterday - even in Eureka!  I had glassy water and 70 degrees pretty much all to myself from 6:20 until I got off the water right before 9PM.  Nailed a couple of fatties right around the tide on popsicles.

I'm running a Cali hali special in Humboldt Bay.  Hit me up if you're looking for a focused instructional trip for bait presentation and tide strategies.

This summer's getting good and will produce some epic fish and trips - like Stacy Sandkulla's beast!  I predict that at least one 30 pound plus salmon will land on these pages by September.  Go get 'em.   :smt001

The Double Day - execution of two distinct trips in one day.

Turned 50 yesterday, so I celebrated with some water time.  I'm leading a public paddle down the South Fork of the Eel next Saturday, June 8th, so a scouting run was in order.  The South Fork is looking good, but it'll be absolutely gorgeous in the next couple of weeks as it drops from an even green to a slotted emerald with clear edges.  It's an awesome time of year on the river - especially after the recent May rains that should keep flows fresh through July and into August.

If you're interested in the free public paddle you can find info here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/296968394353381/  There are still several spots left.

Wrapped up the 8 mile paddle by mid afternoon and headed down river.  After picking up my teenager and a few groceries I cleaned and stowed gear, and my wife made a simple and tasty b-day dinner.  I was watching the wind subside and knew the tide was due to be high at 930PM - it was time for a halibut run to Humboldt Bay.  Threw a new set of gear in the truck, grabbed a bag of popsicles and headed north to the Eureka waterfront.  Launched by 730 and got two rods fishing as the breeze continued to chill and the sun made its way toward a thick marine layer.  By about 820 I hadn't had a scratch up around the middle channel bridge, but that changed fast.  I was on a smallish 'but that came to the surface pretty quickly and didn't warrant a net job.  I tried to tail it, and it jammed on a screaming little run.  Got it back up top and this time it couldn't shake out of my tail-grip.  I held it over my floating hog trough and saw it just about made 24".  Game over - got the net out to process it in.

With blood on deck and a cold birthday brew uncapped, I enjoyed another half hour or so of fishing and a brisk paddle against the tide back to the truck a mile and a half away.  Filleted by 1130, to bed too late.  50 got broke in properly.   :smt001

Shelter Cove has been windy and rough since last weekend's GS13 rainstorm. Yesterday was the first good forecast in a while, so quite a few boats and several kayaks were there to give it a go for salmon - especially since a couple of 20 pounders were caught by powerboaters braving Sunday's rough water.

The ocean was pretty nice, but the bite was slow with about half a dozen legal kings landed by the fleet as well as a few coho and shakers.

I was one of the lucky ones to bag a king, and Capt. Jake on the Seahawk got his guests on a 67 pound Pacific halibut.

It should be an awesome summer at the Cove - book a date and let's go on your adventure!   :smt001

Hadn't counted up my NCKA fishing reports in a few years, so I breezed through them just now.

247 Members Only reports and 302 Public reports - counting this one.  I stopped posting in M.O. because I like to share with anyone who wants to look.  In almost 5 years of having my license (and almost 6 since I left my corporate job and reliable income) guiding has been tough in terms of filling my schedule, but the trips have been awesome - better than I ever imagined due to the connections made with people, materialization of incredible experiences and catches, and, here is the clincher, my ability to share with many more people on more meaningful levels has been accentuated as well.  I am here to push a positive vibe about living with honor and being a part of nature, and I do my best to help people propel their kayak fishing repertoire to a new level - because kayak fishing is an excellent vehicle for attaining some level of enlightenment about what life is really all about.  I believe this.  I live it.

The salmon opener at Shelter Cove looked iffy with a Small Craft Advisory, but it's the Cove. 5 kayaks shared the water with maybe 15 to 20 powerboats. The water was ridiculous early - too rough to safely hit the Whistle. Worked on the inside for an hour or so before deciding to head outside - the fleet was catching good numbers of kings just a mile offshore. Just then Matthew picks one up near the Bell, and then Rob arrives and gets one quickly, but I was committed to heading outside. After negotiating swells sloppy enough that I wouldn't have taken a client on them (except when Coho Joe and Fisherman X joined me early last August on even worse water, but they're on X-Factors), I got out there and there were still 8 or more powerboats working south of the buoy - many others had limited and were back on shore. The bite seemed to have died, but I worked it for a couple hours since the wind wasn't coming up, and at one point the water actually got pretty nice - summerlike! A bite broke out around 11AM, and I managed to hook and lose one briefly, and then I had a hot one that came right to the boat with my reeling before turning its head and spitting my hooks - nice 28 incher swam off under me in crystal clear water. At this point I was 0 for 2 and worried that may be as close as I'd come to opening day success. I was fortunate that the conditions allowed for staying out there, and soon I was hooked up with one that was stuck on my barbless tackle. The first couple I'd had on were so urgent or brief that I hadn't thought about the video, but this one was hooked well, and I really wanted the documentation, so I adjusted the camera and got a good 4 minute video of me landing my prize. Cold beers on the ramp in the sun and then a great visit with old friends on the patio at the Tides Inn rounded off an awesome afternoon.

Shake-down run in the books. Ready for the season. If you have any inkling that you want to catch a salmon, lingcod, halibut or rockfish from the kayak, I hope you'll consider booking a date with me. Let's go on your adventure!

General Talk / Can Anyone Here Turn a JPG into a Digitzed Vector?
« on: March 12, 2019, 08:41:55 PM »
I'm having a heck of a time figuring out whether or not I can use my photo here for the artwork on the back of my GS shirts and hoods.

I got it digitized, but it's not what I want - they did a crappy job, and anyone I seek out online or locally here in Humboldt doesn't have an answer other than "our artists will work with it once you place your order".  I don't feel like I can place an order without knowing what my final artwork looks like...

Advice welcome!

Hey everybody!  I've held off on putting up GS13 as I formulated some new details.  The event will be essentially the same as the past few years with a few exceptions:

- Grand Prize = A full charter on the Sea Hawk on Sunday, May 19th - this will be split between the winners of the tourney and the raffle - 1st place gets a seat and a guest, 2nd place gets a seat, and the other 3 seats will be drawn in the raffle.  If it's blown out then Captain Jake Mitchell has offered to do a halibut seminar that day.
- only one lingcod can be retained this year due to new CDFW regulations;
- competitors will be limited to 200; and
- the raffle proceeds will go to the newly formed Shelter Cove Fishing Preservation Inc. (more info on that later).

Hopeful news:  it looks like we should get a pretty good salmon season, and it's almost assured that Pacific halibut will be open again.  I'll revise this post as I get more info.

Gimme Shelter has a ton of history - if you want some background or to re-live past GS weekends then check out the threads of past events.

GS4 - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=22208.0
GS5 - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=28025.0
GS6 - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=35334.0
GS7 - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=43460.0
GS8 - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=52177.0
GS9 - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=61292.0
GSX - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=70255.0
GS11 - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=75392.0
GS12 - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=82336.0

A few tidbits:

- the GS weekends since GS3 in 2009 have seen more Pacific halibut hooked and caught by kayakers than at any other time or port in California;
- salmon and halibut can be caught in as little as 10' of water near the Cove;
- lots of AOTY entries and personal bests for NCKA members come in on the GS weekend;
- Shelter Cove is going through significant changes, and the kayak community is poised to be in an excellent position in terms of helping the locals to keep the fishing tradition strong;
- this is a family event where we celebrate each other, the NCKA community, the Cove community, the animals and the beauty of the Lost Coast.
I hope to see you there.   :smt001

Here's the roster - 167 of us. 

Adams, Khanh
Anchetta, Anthony
Anderson, Cami
Anderson, Cheylee
Anderson, Evan       
Anderson, Ryan       
Anglin, Don
Aquino, Ferdinand
Arnold, Conor
Ayala, Gabe
Baker, Kenny
Baron, Matt
Batt, David   
Belli, Domenic       
Bradfield, David
Bray, Rob
Brown, Kyle
Butler, Michael       
Butolph, Timothy           
Calvert, John   
Cameron, James
Cao, Dan   
Cervania, Freddie
Chasey, Lloyd   
Chatelain, Nick
Cheng, David           
Chin, Ben
Clark, Josiah   
Cox, Charles       
Crotty, Loren
Culver, Akoma   
Cuna, Ariel
Dang, Tim
Davies, Jeff
De Benedictis-Kessner, Shifra       
Dedeo, Michel
Do, Thien
Donovan, Vic   
Duffy, Tim       
Duncan, Kevin           
Dye, Ken           
Easter, Brandi
Eisenburg, Heather   
Erwin, Allen   
Foley, Jeramee       
Force, Sky           
Foreman, Amos
Fung, Jon
Gee, Scott
Gerson, Jessica
Gosciminski, Jim       
Gustin, Jim       
Harper, Jordan   
Harrison, Scott
Havemann, John
Hayes, Justin
Heitman, Jerry   
Holder, Jonny   
Hofer, Kevin           
Jansen, Tommy
Jay, Shannon
Jerge, Josh
Joe, Howard   
Jones, Glyn   
Julian, Andrew
Jung, Won       
Kaai, Eric
Kaber, Doug
Kaiser, Mike   
Kaji, Isao       
Kelly, Kevin           
Kelly, Martin   
Kennedy, Mike
King, Ryan
Kingstrom, Jeremy
Kirk, Howard
Klein, David
Knauff, Kevin
Knoles, Rob
Koons, Adam
Kuhl, Pat
Lagasse, Aaron
Landry, Jesse       
Lawson, Al   
Lee, Mark
Littlejohn, Nic
Lockaby, Mark       
Lockwood, Carla
Marrin, John
Mayes, Matt       
McNeil, Brad           
Monte, Kyle
Morais, Jeremy
Morais, Trina
Morgan, Eric           
Morgan, Jay   
Mouton, Greg
Murakami, Jason
Murphy, Steve
Nagel, Annie
Nakashima, Marco
Nelson, Gabe
Nelson, Matt   
Nguyen, Sonny   
Nguyen, Tommy       
Nicholson, Paul       
Nunes, Frank   
O’Neal, Wil
O’Neill, Amber
Owens, John
Pascual, Cameron       
Patio, Jaernel           
Patz, John           
Peredia, Mike
Perry, Kailyr           
Pham, Bob
Pham, Kiet
Pickle, Byron
Potts, Bradley           
Reep, Nels
Revelo, Antonio           
Reyes, Herb           
Roberts, Chuck   
Robinson, Scott   
Rossbach, Aden
Roumiguiere, Justin       
Rossbach, Mars
Royston, David
Sandkulla, Stacy
Sapp, Mike       
Saufferer, Ron           
Saufferer, Terry       
Sauve, Adam   
Sawyer, Mike
Schulz, Carson
Schulz, Kelly
Schulz, Lawana       
Sciucchetti, Pete
Scriven, Joe
Shields, Josh       
Shippey, Raydon
Sigala, Alex
Smith, Randy
Smoak, Robert           
Sopjes, David           
Stockwell, Eric   
Swagler, Matt
Takagi, Brian
Takagi, Steve       
Taube, Dylan
Taube, Tyja
Tesch, Damon
Tibbet, Michael
Tigyi, Kristof
Tilley, Marcus
Tran, Thuong           
Van Arsdale, Aaron       
Vanhorn, Fred           
Velho, Joe   
Voss, Joe
Walz, Andrew
Wang, Tim
Whisenhunt, Matt       
Whiting, Jack   
Wise, Waker       
Woodard, Tyler       

If you think you're registered but don't see your name here you need to contact me immediately.

Also, if you didn't get a welcome email confirming your order you need to contact me immediately.

Thanks.  :smt001

General Talk / Cape Mendo GWS - 11/11/18
« on: November 11, 2018, 11:31:51 PM »
Here's what went down today: My daughter's home from college, and I wanted to get some fresh bottom fish for tacos as well as fresh carcasses for crabbing. I got up early and followed the forecasts and buoy reports, and it seemed potentially rough and windy this morning. I ended up taking my time and going over the hill to the Cape around 930AM, launching by around 1030. Saw five other yaks on the water, so I fished my way to them. It was a nice day with a decent bite. I hooked up with Rob Bray to say hi, and he was hanging with Josh Jerge. Ryan King, Jason Webster and Gabe Acosta were nearby. After just BS'ing for like 5 minutes I announced that I was heading for shore because I just wanted to get a couple lings and a few blacks and head out to get my girls crabbing on the bay. A minute later I'm retrieving my line and I'm hooked up - feels like a maybe-legal ling. I bring it toward the boat with almost no fight, and I see something down there that's tan and BIG! It takes off along the surface, and I announce to the guys around me that I have what looks like a really big halibut on. They see I'm fighting something right on the surface and like 40 feet from me, and I bring it to the yak - again, almost no fight, and then I see it's a GWS! It was basically just coming to me like it was on a leash!

Well, then it turns and just heads out. Not super fast or urgent, but it just turns and goes. I'm broken off pretty quickly, and I'm exclaiming to the guys that it was a Great White! Then Josh has it next to him, and that prompted me to get the camera turned on as fast as I could.

Hookups and Fishing Reports (Viewable by Public) / Klamath - 9/18/18
« on: September 21, 2018, 11:18:11 PM »
Several weeks ago I got a Facebook message from Christy at The Trader Magazine. She had seen some of my stories from Facebook, and she asked me if I might want to share them in The Trader. I was thrilled to do it, and Christy has been great to work with. It's just a casual thing, but it gets me out there and it's rooted in someone's genuine interest in what I have to share - I'm digging that!

So a couple weeks back Ralph calls and asks about the Klamath. We talked about a date, but when I told Ralph that the adult quota on the lower river had just been reached he opted to wait for next year. I texted the next day though to let Ralph know that retention of jack salmon under 22" was still open, and I tried to impress on him that it would be a great trip to take even if he couldn't keep a salmon. My message brought Ralph around to deciding to go through with a trip.

We met just after 6AM at the Steelhead Lodge in Klamath Glen where Ralph was staying. With the gear consolidated in my truck we set off upriver on a system of riverbar roads that are somewhat scary - you never know what you'll see out there, and you also never quite know which route is the right one to take! We managed to get up to our launch spot at the top of the Glen riffle where we got on the water and started paddling upstream. I know the area well, but I've never been on as good a bite as we had today. We ended up landing a cool dozen Chinook - 10 adults on hardware, and we heard from a powerboat that the jacks were up at Starwein and they were snapping. Two passes bouncing the bottom up there and we had a limit of jacks for Ralph to put away.

The beauty and wildness of the Klamath is pretty amazing, and getting to experience a bite like that with a guest was so outstanding. I fought kings all day from the yak in flipflops, boardshorts and a rashguard… Thank you, Mother Nature!

I'm looking to get more of that action. A 2 or 3 guest trip would be a hot ticket. If you've never been to the big K and want a tour of a place where you can paddle up into the wilderness to pursue the chrome dream, call me up and let's do it!

Oh yeah, Ralph found me through The Trader. Thank you, Christy! And thank you, Ralph, and thank you, NCKA!  :smt001

I hope this comes with the approval of all in this club.  I was contacted several weeks ago by a young woman named Christy Johnson from the Trader magazine.  She enjoys my stuff on Facebook and has used a few pieces in the Trader, and this last one I sent her was the NCKA version - this is just a PR gig that I don't look to make any $ from.  The story didn't come through as clearly as FB stuff would, as I had references to NCKA community specific stuff, but all in all I think it was a good translation and provided just a little insight and a possible connection to NCKA that I think the public needs.

Community pride, for sure.  I feel it all the time.  :smt001


It's been a busy August!

August 1st and 2nd DaveW and I had a couple of great days where we managed to catch 4 limits of salmon and landed fish on 4 different setups.  Fishing with the fleet out at the Whistle and finding our own hookups farther inside, we enjoyed a steady bite and great quality.  Eric and Verna were awesome hosts as usual at The Tides, and we got to sample the two new local eateries - the Gyppo Ale Mill and Mi Mochima Venezuelan fare.  They were both great!  Thanks, Dave, for coming back for a 3rd summer of trips where we've gotten some great fish.

August 3rd I had Coho Joe and JHFishermanX - it was their 3rd summer doing trips with me too.  Past trips have yielded multiple 10" abs, and we have caught salmon, but the big kings have eluded us.  Well, even after Dave and I rolled with limits on Wednesday and Thursday, Friday just wasn't happening for Joe, John and I.  We settled for a nice stringer of lings and rockfish, and we had a blast playing with the California halibut on barbless - must've hooked like 20 in an hour and a half.  Thanks, guys, for a great time and your friendship and support.

August 5th Jacks came to town, and it was his 4th time back with my guide service!  We all know that Terry is one of the best fishermen in this club, so it's always an honor to get to show him the current intell and fish together for a day.  Terry got his limit on a tough bite, and I kept a barely legal hatchery king after breaking off 2 big brutes - tough day, but really an indicator of how HOT things have gotten at the Cove!!  Thanks, Terry for the continued support and friendship.

August 10th CJ and Tommy/Snazzyshun came to town.  Cody had been on the GS12 pre-fish trip with me, so the theme of returning clients was still running!  I hooked a thresher that stuck early, so we got to see some jumps and the guys continued salmon trolling next to me while I got a 20 minute ride before it cut me off.  For the day we saw some fish caught by the fleet, and The Inn Keeper/Yakhopper pedaled out late and popped a king, but we couldn't get one to stick and ended a 9 hour session empty handed after releasing all rockfish and lings that day - that was a first for me with no fish to fillet for my guests at the end of the session.  Guys, I'm sorry the fish weren't on the chew for our trip - I hope you get into a salmon using what I showed you before the season ends.  Thanks for the support.

August 11th and 12th Paul/SLBuilder came back for a followup after a July trip with me where he'd fought and lost a nice salmon.  This time around Paul's bites stuck, and he landed a beauty for his first salmon at around 20 pounds.  We both got one each day, and again the quality was great.  Thanks for the support, Paul - too bad that thresher you hooked broke off on Thresher Days Weekend!

Thanks, everybody.  :smt001

Every year since the 80's I've enjoyed Tahoe in late July with my in-laws.  Way back in the day they weren't even my in-laws, as my wife and I dated for 7 years before we married, but I've never missed the Callihan Tahoe trip since we were seniors in high school.  In the early days I think I'd bring a rod here and there and cast a lure, but I had no clue about how to catch a fish in Tahoe.  We always hit up our favorite beaches and hikes for our day trips, and evenings are filled with family dinners and some shopping.  Once or twice a year we used to hit a casino, but I got sick of the cig smoke, the zombies and the feeling of either wishing I would've bet more or losing money that could've bought my kids shoes... 

It was AOTY that led me to really trying to figure some shit out on Tahoe.  I ditched the casinos and started doing dawn patrol fishing missions.  For a few years I hit the Keys trying for a bass - got a few, and then early this century Tote helped me dial in on a mackinaw at DL Bliss.  Next I figured out how to get kokanee off of Taylor Creek - Jude helped me optimize my launch options.  Somewhere in there I managed to catch and release a nice Lahontan Cut up at a smaller lake toward Echo Peak.  All of this was by kayak, of course.

Then, 4 years back, I started guiding, so the Tahoe vacay turned in to more of a break from fishing.

Rewind!  What a shitty idea!!   :smt005

There would be no break from fishing this year!  I took along a few basics so I could at least try for a koke.  I got out on the first morning, the 27th, and launched by about 545AM from Kiva.  In the past I've caught all my kokes on Wedding Rings, but that's all I've ever tried with I think.  :smt003  It would be a WR behind an old and funky and really cool piece of tackle called "Cousin Carl" by Half Fast - great name on this old one from my Gampa's tacklebox.  Right off the bat I hooked up as I made my way toward the one boat setting up a bit earlier than me - 70 pulls with a 4 ounce banana, Cousin Carl and the WR.  Got the little salmon (~11") to the boat and in the release net, but it wasn't doing well, so in the bag it went.  I de-barbed to hopefully prevent hurting another one, and right when I got down again I was on a little better fighter as I videoed and talked about being there pre-sunrise over the Tahoe rim - lost that fish due to watching the rod and finishing my little vid.  Thought I may be on a hot bite, but that was it, and I had to bail in about an hour to do the family beach scene.  So, slow-trolled bling down 50-80 feet seems to do it in late July, and hitting it before the sun gets on the water is a good idea.

Our next few days were filled with pure vacay stuff like swimming, sunning, beering and fooding.  The last day, Monday the 30th, we were to hike up to Angora Lakes - another one of our yearly stops.  For years I took a kayak up there on Wheeleez, but things like invasive plants and animals are a threat there now, so I can only take an SUP on wheels.  So I did that.  I don't know that I've fished Lower Angora since I caught a Lahontan there several years ago (that was a great time and fun report that I should look up and put the link here...)  This year's long story just a bit shorter:  I SUP'd out onto L. Angora at like 930 with sun on the water and got to fight a strong 18"+ Lahontan that just COULD be the same one I caught there years ago, and I was all alone on the lake that day too.  1/2 ounce Little Cleo in silver, slow retrieved over the center of the lake - last time it was a large silver Kastmaster on a hail mary, turn-and-paddle-away drop! 

AOTY has been a fun motivator that gets people not just involved but also more aware of the workings of the NCKA community.  It's that community and the shared values of, among other things, friendship, support and the celebration of our pursuits in the outdoors that gets the credit. 

Thank you, NCKA, for continuing to inspire me.   :smt001

I've caught some nice fish from the basic Costco SUP - steelhead, salmon, striper, pikeminnow...etc. on the Eel, and I've tried for halibut a few times on the bay - did catch a couple of shorts last summer near the ramp at the Cove. Today I had errands to run in Eureka, so I took the SUP and got on it right at high slack a bit after noon. 20 minutes later I had a little fatty in the net - hooked, fought and landed standing up.

Kayak fishing - and SUP fishing for sure - is a lot about the challenge. We are looking for a sporting good time out there, and the fish are punctuation marks on our statement about ability and desire for adventure.

If you think you want to try kayak fishing I recommend getting on it - the California halibut fishery in the bay and the salmon bite along the Humboldt coast are good right now - we really never know how long that will last or if it will materialize again next season.

I want to take you - SUP optional!   :smt001

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